ELMIRA, N.Y. — The Elmira College men's lacrosse team tallied 12 goals in the second half of Wednesday's Empire 8 Conference tilt against Houghton College to break a halftime stalemate and earn its first victory of the season, winning 16-5. Leading the late charge was senior Anthony LaRusso of North Conway, who had a career day with six second-half goals and a career-high seven points. For his effort, LaRusso was named the Elmira College Male Athlete of the Week.
On hand to watch the game were Anthony's parents, Andrea and Steve LaRusso.
The two sides played an evenly-matched 30 minutes to begin the game, as the Soaring Eagles and Highlanders both netted a pair of goals in each quarter, entering the halftime intermission knotted at 4-all. However, in the second half, EC outshot its conference counterpart (26-to-8), gather more ground balls (31-to-12), won the battle at the X (10-to-5), and was perfect on clears.
Elmira needed only 1:08 in the second half to break the tie. On EC's first possession of the half following a Houghton turnover, Colby Runk '18 raced down the field to successfully clear the ball, before dishing it off to Nevin Olney '18, who buried his fourth goal of the game passed Highlander goalie Jorge Medina.
That goal sparked the beginning of a dominate 9-0 run for the Soaring Eagles, one that bridged the third and fourth quarters, putting the game out of reach for good. Following Olney's tiebreaker, third-year midfielder Jacob Magnoli '18 brought the Elmira faithful to their feet with back-to-back goals, the first two tallies of his collegiate career.
LaRusso single-handedly turned the game into a rout from there. The senior registered all of his game- and career-high six goals in the final 15:16 of action, beginning with consecutive scores a mere 12 seconds apart to cap off the third quarter. After LaRusso posted his first goal with just 16 ticks left in the period, Kevin Schutt '19 secured the ground ball just outside the offensive zone on the ensuing faceoff, and the second-year long-stick middie quickly dumped it over the top of the Houghton defenders to LaRusso. The fourth-year attacker hauled in the pass and beat Medina low, increasing the lead to 9-4.
LaRusso is tied for the team lead in both goals (10) and points (12) on the season.
Just over a minute into the fourth, Wyatt Katsos '17 ripped a bullet of a shot from the left slot to give the Soaring Eagles a six-goal cushion. LaRusso then light up the scoreboard with a natural hat trick, scoring three in a row in a span of 3:04. The senior duo connected for EC's 12th goal, as Katsos fed LaRusso in the slot and the pride of North Conway, New Hampshire, deked out Medina on the doorstep of the crease.
Head Coach Preston Chapman on what fueled his team's offensive success in the second half: "They were sharing the ball and making the extra pass, and we shot the ball much better in the second half. Anthony LaRusso, in particular, answered the challenge that we gave him at halftime and stepped up."
Seven points are the most by a Soaring Eagle in a single game since David Evert '14 and Brady Richards '14 notched eight and seven, respectively, against Alfred State on April 26, 2014.
Last season, LaRusso paced the Purple and Gold with 11 assists, a single-season career high, and was tied for third on the team with 19 points.
Houghton's Cole Chapman finally snapped the Highlanders' nearly 30-minute long scoreless drought to reduce the deficit to 13-5.
In the final seven-and-a-half minutes, Elmira received three more goals, one each from LaRusso, Joe Greene '17, and Sal Magliocco '17, with the latter marking the first of Magliocco's lacrosse career.
LaRusso is an Economics and Business Administration double-major with a concentration in Finance.
- Category: Personalities